I was appointed official navigator, which owing to my ‘sometimes confused’ sense of direction, might not have been the smartest move.
The trip was a little like the young adult novel I’ve been working on recently. Everything was straightforward for most of the journey, but we found ourselves going around in circles (A LOT) at the end.
In my defence, technology was against us. I’d brought two phones with me just in case, but neither of them worked – nor could we use Mina’s phone – and to make matters worse, the iPad couldn’t seem to find the satellite either. So once we got to South Lake Tahoe we had no idea of where to go and no map.
We ended up going in the wrong direction for quite some time before we decided that we’d better ask someone for help. (Although at this stage we weren’t panicking – it was a pretty nice place to be lost – and so far we hadn’t seen a bear:)
We were lucky to encounter a very kind American who used his phone to help us get directions to our destination. His name was Gabrielle Waterman, and we have both promised him a name in our next book. Mina plans to use him in her YA, and I have plans for him to be the hero in my adult novel – so he will be assuming two quite different identities.
We finally arrived at Fallen Leaf Retreat just on nightfall – but it was certainly worth the drive. What a beautiful place.
1. Don’t just map out the first part of the story – make sure your plan goes right to the end.
2. Make sure your novel ending is strong and direct and doesn’t go around in circles.
3. If you find yourself going around in circles, stop and ask for help.
4. While you are going around in circles, decide which landmarks are really important.
5. Once you reach your destination – the end of your novel – take a break from it and celebrate the fact that you have arrived at this place. Congratulations:)